Measurable progress? Teaching artsworkers to assess and articulate the impact of their work

Gattenhof, Sandra J. & Hadley, Bree J. (2011) Measurable progress? Teaching artsworkers to assess and articulate the impact of their work. M/C Journal, 14(6).

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The National Cultural Policy Discussion Paper—drafted to assist the Australian Government in developing the first national Cultural Policy since Creative Nation nearly two decades ago—envisages a future in which arts, cultural and creative activities directly support the development of an inclusive, innovative and productive Australia. "The policy," it says, "will be based on an understanding that a creative nation produces a more inclusive society and a more expressive and confident citizenry by encouraging our ability to express, describe and share our diverse experiences—with each other and with the world" (Australian Government 3).

Even a cursory reading of this Discussion Paper makes it clear that the question of impact—in aesthetic, cultural and economic terms—is central to the Government's agenda in developing a new Cultural Policy. Hand-in-hand with the notion of impact comes the process of measurement of progress. The Discussion Paper notes that progress "must be measurable, and the Government will invest in ways to assess the impact that the National Cultural Policy has on society and the economy" (11). If progress must be measurable, this raises questions about what arts, cultural and creative workers do, whether it is worth it, and whether they could be doing it better.

In effect, the Discussion Paper pushes artsworkers ever closer to a climate in which they have to be skilled not just at making work, but at making the impact of this work clear to stakeholders. The Government in its plans for Australia's cultural future, is clearly most supportive of artsworkers who can do this, and the scholars, educators and employers who can best train the artsworkers of the future to do this.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 49820
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: producers, cultural impact, arts evaluation, HERN
ISSN: 1441-2616
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000)
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Institutes > Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Bree J. Hadley & Sandra J. Gattenhof
Deposited On: 23 Apr 2012 22:14
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2017 04:39

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